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Zoo Med 511 Review

Looking for a dependable and affordable way to heat your terrarium? Check out the Zoo Med 511! This heater is a great choice for reptile and amphibian enthusiasts on a budget. In this article, we will discuss the features of the Zoo Med 511, answer some common questions, and offer some tips for using it safely and effectively.
Zoo Med 511The Zoo Med 511 is a submersible power filter for turtle tanks. It is designed to hang on the back of the tank and has an adjustable flow rate.

  • Dimensions: ‎ 12.5 x 7.6 x 7.4 inches
  • Weight: 4.6 Pounds
  • For tanks etc. up to 60 gallons

The Zoo Med 511 has several features that make it a great choice for heating your turtle tank. First, it has an adjustable flow rate. This means you can control how much water flows through the filter, depending on the size of your turtle tank. Second, the 511 comes with a built-in UV sterilizer. This helps to keep your turtle’s water clean and clear by reducing the amount of algae and bacteria in the water. Third, the 511 has a large capacity. It can filter up to 100 gallons of water per hour, making it ideal for larger turtle tanks. Fourth, the 511 is easy to install. Fifth, the 511 is backed by a one-year warranty. This means that if you have any problems with the filter, Zoo Med will replace it for free.

Zoo Med 511 Specifications

  • Dimensions: ‎12.5 x 7.6 x 7.4 inches
  • Weight: 4.6 Pounds
  • Total Volume: 12 gallons

Pros and Cons of Zoo Med 511

  • Super quiet
  • The tubes it comes with are long
  • Keeps the water crystal clear
  • Easy to clean

  • A little pricey
  • Not powerful enough

Buyer’s Guide

Do Turtles Need A Filter?

Turtle owners often ask if their pet turtle needs a filter. The answer is not always straightforward, as it depends on several factors. First, you need to consider the size of your turtle’s tank.

Do Turtles Need A Filter?

A small tank will require more filtration than a large one. Second, you need to think about how many turtles you have. More turtles means more waste and thus more filtration. Finally, you need to take into account the type of turtle you have. Some turtles are messy eaters and produce more waste than others.

If you have a small tank and/or only one or two turtles, you may be able to get by without a filter.
But if your tank is larger or you have several turtles, a filter is a good idea. A filter keeps the water clean and free of waste. It will also help to keep your turtles healthy by removing harmful bacteria from the water.

There are diverse types of filters available for turtle tanks. canister filters, hang-on-back filters, and undergravel filters are all popular choices. Some filters are not strong enough to remove all of the waste produced by turtles and can actually do more harm than good. [1]

Types Of Turtle Tank Filter

There are three primary types of filters used on turtle tanks: canister, under-gravel, internal, and hang-on-back. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks that will be discussed in more detail belowzz:

Canister Filter

Canister Filter Pros

  • Canister filters are very powerful and can filter a large amount of water quickly.
  • They can be hidden away from view, which is nice if you’re looking for a more aesthetically pleasing setup.
  • Canister filters come with a variety of different media options, so you can customize the filtration to your specific needs.

Canister Filter Cons

  • Canister filters are more expensive than other types of filters.
  • They can be difficult to clean and maintain.
  • If not installed properly, they can leak water.

HOB / Power Filter

HOB Filter Pros

  • Cheap
  • Can be placed close to the waterline
  • Easy to install
  • Good for small tanks

HOB Filter Cons

  • Not as effective as canister filters
  • Not good for larger tanks

Internal / Submersible Filter

Submersible Filter Pros

  • More energy efficient than an external filter
  • No need to worry about leaks
  • Can be hidden from view
  • Takes up less space than an external filter

Internal / Submersible Filter

Submersible Filter Cons

  • Not as effective at filtering large tanks as external filters
  • Some models can be difficult to clean
  • Can be more expensive than external filters
  • Undergravel Filter – Not Recommended!

Undergravel filters are not recommended for a number of reasons. First, they can be difficult to clean. Second, they can actually trap debris and waste in the gravel, which can lead to water quality issues. Finally, undergravel filters can be noisy and disruptive to your reptile’s environment.

What Type Of Filter Is Best For Turtle Tank?

Turtle tanks are unique in that they require both an air filter and a water filter. The best filter for turtle tanks is one that can accommodate both types of filtration.

Air filters are important for turtle tanks because they keep the tank clean and free of stagnant air. Water filters remove harmful bacteria and toxins from the water.

The best way to ensure that your turtle tank has adequate filtration is to choose a filter that is specifically designed for turtle tanks. Zoo Med’s 511 Canister Filter is a great option for turtle tanks.

This filter has two separate chambers, one for air filtration and one for water filtration.

How To Choose A Filter

There are a few things you need to bear into account.

Water Volume

The amount of water you use is the first thing to think about. A good rule of thumb is that you should have a filter that can turn over the entire volume of the tank at least 4 times p/hour. If you have a 50-gallon tank, you will need a filter that can move 200 gallons of water p/hour.

Filter Size

There are two things that determine the filter size: the flow rate and the media capacity.

The flow rate is how much water the filter can move in an hour.

Filter Size

The media capacity is how much filtration media the filter can hold. The more media the better, because it means the filter can do a better job of removing impurities from the water. A good rule of thumb is to choose a filter with a media capacity that is at least twice the tank size. If you have a 50-gallon tank, you want a filter with a media capacity of at least 100 gallons. [2]

Filter Maintenance & Cleaning

It is important to regularly clean your filter and replace the filtration media. Depending on the type of filter you have, this can be a simple process or it can be a bit more involved.

Canister Filters

Canister filters are some of the best filters because they are very efficient at removing impurities from the water. They are also fairly easy to maintain and clean.

To clean it, you simply need to disassemble it and rinse out the media in a bucket of aquarium water. Incorporate this into your routine every few weeks, or as needed. Also replace the filtration media every few months.

Filter Noise

Some filters can be quite noisy, especially when they are first turned on. This is usually just a temporary problem that goes away after a few minutes. If the noise persists, however, it could be a sign that the filter is not working properly and you should have it checked by a professional.

Types Of Filtration

There are three types of filters that can be used with the Zoo Med 511.

Mechanical Filtration

Mechanical filtration removes solid particles from the water using a filter media. It keeps the water clean.

The most frequent type of filter media used for mechanical filtration is filter pads.

Biological Filtration

Biological filtration removes ammonia and nitrites using a filter media that contains beneficial bacteria. Biological filtration is important in order to maintain a healthy environment. Most biofilters use bio balls as their primary filter media.

Chemical Filtration

Chemical filtration is the process of removing dissolved impurities from the water using a chemical media.

Chemical Filtration

Chemical media can be in the form of activated carbon or zeolite. Chemical filtration removes harmful chemicals from the water that can be toxic to fish and other aquatic life. [3]


How long do turtle tank filters last?

Turtle tank filters typically last for about 6 months before replacing them. Depending on the size, you may need to replace the filter more or less frequently.

Should I leave my filter on all the time?

It’s generally a good idea to leave your filter on all the time. This will help ensure that your water is clean and that your fish are healthy and happy. However, in the case of a canister filter, it is recommended that you do a partial water change every month or so, to remove any build-up of debris in the filter media. [4]

Can you over filter a turtle tank?

No, you cannot over filter a tank. It’s better to filter something too much than not enough. [5]

How often should I change the filter cartridge in my turtle tank?

It’s recommended to change the filter cartridge in the turtle tank every 4-6 weeks. However, it’s a good idea to check the condition of the cartridge more frequently and change it sooner if it becomes clogged. [6]

Related Video: Zoo Med 511 Setup Live Stream


So, there you have it! Hopefully, this guide has helped clear up any confusion you may have had about the Zoo Med 511 and given you some useful tips to get the most out of your purchase. Be sure to carefully read all directions and heed all warnings before use. With proper care and maintenance, your Zoo Med 511 should provide years of service. Thanks for reading!


  1. https://www.petmd.com/how-pick-right-turtle-tank-filter-and-tank
  2. https://modestfish.com/best-filter-for-turtle-tank/
  3. https://www.aquariadise.com/turtle-tank-filters/
  4. https://aquariawise.com/should-you-leave-your-aquarium-filter-on-all-day/
  5. https://www.aussiepythons.com/threads/filter-advice-for-turtle-tank.119511/
  6. http://www.turtleforum.com/forum/upload/index.php?/forums/topic/153763-how-often-do-you-clean-your-filters/